Forest Avenue Elementary School celebrated Earth Day by hosting four Recycling Workshops on April 10 and 11. Students Grade 1 through 4 participated in hands-on presentations organized by the school SCA and the Verona Environmental Commission. Students demonstrated how to flatten corrugated cardboard boxes to be dropped off at the Verona Recycling Center. They sorted out items for recycling collection learning the difference between aluminum and tin cans, corrugated cardboard and paper board, etc. They learned about household hazardous waste and items made with 100% recycled content. Sometimes recycling can be a bit confusing, but now students are experts on Verona's Recycling Programs! Pictured student Stephanie Zimany sorting recyclable items.
National Day of Service was Jan. 19th
This day was created to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The VEC invited residents to help by increasing their recycling efforts on that day and bring recyclable items to the Verona Recycling Center. Carpooling to the Recycling Center was encouraged as well. Plenty of residents participated bringing corrugated cardboard, plastic bottles and containers (type #1 and #2), glass bottles, tin and aluminum cans, newspapers, mixed paper, telephone books, E-Waste (such as TVs and computers) and metal items (such as bicycles, air conditioners and file cabinets). Residents also dropped gently used clothing items and shoes in the center's donation container. Thank you all for participating!
Fair In the Square
The VEC participated in Verona Fair In the Square on Dec. 1st, 2012. At the commission's table visitors learned about the dangers of toxic synthetic lawn pesticides. The commission invited residents to sign a petition to keep lawn pesticides off Verona's school grounds and public fields where children play. The most common reaction was "Who could be against this?". Over 200 residents already signed the petition in person and online. You can read the petition here. Children made holiday cards for their families and friends with reclaimed cards from Verona. Pictured from right, Council Member Kevin Ryan visiting the VEC table, Chaiman Jerry Shimonaski and HBW teacher Tony Saltalamacchia with his daughter.
Following the example of the Essex County Environmental Commission, on November 26, 2012 the Verona Environmental Commission passed a resolution urging New Jersey legislators to pass the Safe Playing Fields Act (A2412/S1143)
and pesticide-free school grounds. The US EPA, the Federal Trade Commission and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection prohibit claims as to the safety of a pesticide or its ingredients even if used as directed. The commission's resolution supports pesticide free playing fields in Verona and New Jersey. To read the resolution plea
se click here: Open "VEC Safe Playing Fields Resolution" - Over 50 legislators signed on to co-sponsor the Safe Playing Fields Act this year. READ MORE HERE
Verona Public Library Exhibit
Verona students Grade 1 through 8 submitted more than 150 posters to participate in the commission's 4th annual contest "Idle Free Verona". All posters are currently on display at the Verona Public Library (17 Gould Street) until December 3rd. The posters are organized by participating school. Everyone is welcome to visit the exhibit at the Children Department during regular library hours: 9 am to 9 pm on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday; 9 am to 5 pm on Wednesday, Friday & Saturday and 2 pm to 5 pm on Sunday. The Library will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22. Pictured here are (from left to right ) Librarians Bill Trafton and Catherine Adair Williams and new Library Director Mary Torrey. Congratulations to all participants for helping improve Verona's air quality!
ANJEC Award for the VEC
The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) held their 39th Annual Environmental Congress in October at the Middlesex County College in Edison, NJ. Governor James Florio was the keynote speaker and workshop topics included Restoring Living Shorelines, Reducing Vehicle Emissions, Planning for Weather Extremes and Green Infrastructure. The VEC won a 2012 Environmental Achievement Award for the video and program "Go Idle Free Verona". ANJEC described the project as "a perfect example of the scope a commission can achieve with enthusiastic volunteers!". VEC members created this video with help from the H. B. W. Middle School
Environmental Club. The VEC would like to congratulate the following
students, pictured above during the video shoot: Benjamin Greene, Jewel
Chu, Andrew Daddio, Jaclyn Marrese, Emma Kubacki, Erin McNally, Nina
Machnowski, Anna and Lucas Konrad-Parisi.
President, Nelson Dittmar Jr., pictured right, presented the award to
VEC Chairman Gerard Shimonaski, Vice-Chair Gloria Machnowski and VEC
Council Liaison Kevin Ryan. Also the environmental commissions
from Cranford, Hawthorne, Hightstown, Manalapan, Plumsted, Roxbury and
Secaucus received environmental awards this year. The Kinnelon,
Westville and Washington Township Environmental Commissions received
honorable mentions and four nonprofit organizations received awards.
Congratulations to all!
Verona Schools are Styrofoam Free!
We annually dump almost two million tons of petroleum-based food packaging! Foam plates, cups and trays are made from expanded polystyrene foam (also known as Styrofoam), which never decomposes. Polystyrene is not accepted for recycling in Verona. Please reduce the amount of polystyrene waste that you generate. Verona Public Schools' Cafeterias recently stopped using polystyrene foam dishes. "The Verona School District will be using a recycled fiber-board product for school lunches in 2012-2013." said Verona Superintendent of Schools Mr. Forte. "This is a big move away from plastics and I agree it is an important move for the environment" he added. The VEC congratulates the BOE for this green initiative, and the HBW student Lucas Konrad-Parisi who presented the petition last June 19th. In short, Styro has got to go!
At the July 16th Council Meeting it looked like Verona was moving towards pesticide-free maintenance for public fields (more details HERE). But on September 1st the following chemicals were applied to H. B.W. Middle School and Verona High School fields: TruPower3, Merit 27, Talstar Insecticide, and 19-0-2 Fertilizer. The same day the Community Center, Linn Drive Field and Town Square were treated as well. TruPower 3 is considered by the EPA to have a toxicity category 1 -the most toxic- and has been banned from use in cities such as Albany, New York since 1999. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) procedures are mandatory for schools in NJ since 2004 and calls for non-pesticide pest management methods to be used whenever possible. "The VEC believes that it is critical, for the health of our children and teenagers, for our government and our fellow citizens to understand that it is possible to have playable fields without the use of toxic chemicals" said the VEC Chairman at the Sep. 4th Council Meeting. "We further ask that the Verona Township government commit now to converting all playing fields to pesticide-free maintenance, beginning immediately" he added. You can read the complete VEC statement HERE .
F.N.Brown Eco Fair
F. N. Brown School held their Annual Eco-Fair on May 18th, 2012. Close to 250 students participated creating amazing objects with recycled materials, such as musical instruments, animals, historical figures and posters.
Students played the VEC's educational game “How Long it Takes to Decompose”, pictured here with the VEC Chairman Gerard Shimonaski. All grades visited the exhibit and learned environmental facts during the school day. The exhibit remained open after school for the whole family to attend.
For more information about this wonderful exhibit please CLICK HERE
Forest Ave. School celebrated Earth Day on April 20th. The SCA helped organize three hands-on Composting Presentations for all students, from Kindergarten through 4th Grade. You can view the pdf version HERE. Composting is nature's process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost. The children learned how to reduce waste and save money by composting food and yard waste. During the program they ate fruits and collected their banana peels, apple cores, watermelon rinds, etc. Later on all students visited the school's compost bin to contribute their food waste. The final product, a natural fertilizer, will be used in the school's gardens. Pictured, 4th Grade teacher Mrs. Gero with students visiting the school compost bin. For more information please read our composting page
Earth Day at Forest Ave.
NJ Fertilizer Law
The New Jersey Fertilizer Law, A2290, establishes statewide fertilizer standards and requires professional fertilizer applicators to undergo training and become certified. It prohibits fertilizer application during or just before heavy rainfall and limits the time that fertilizer can be used. Fertilizer may not be applied from November 15th to March 1st for consumers, and December 1st to March 1st for professionals. It also restricts the amount of nitrogen used and fertilizer content. Fines for noncompliance are $500 for the 1st offense and up to $1000 for the 2nd and each subsequent offense for professional applicators.The Fertilizer Law is really about water quality. It
still allows you to feed your lawn, but in a way that avoids adverse
impact on NJ waters.Here you can read information for homeowners about this law. READ MORE
01-01-2011 the NJ Electronic Waste Management Act, requires TV’s,
cellphones, computers, monitors and other items known as e-waste to be
recycled. Therefore residents can no longer put electronics on the curb
for pick up with regular solid waste. Two years ago the Verona
Environmental Commission worked with the Township and successfully
started e-waste collection at the Verona Recycling Center. E-waste
contains mercury, cadmium and other toxins. Cathode Ray Tubes or CRT’s
contain large amounts of lead that is used to shield consumers from
radiation. Again we remind residents to keep these items out of the
solid waste stream by bringing them to the Recycling Center.
Refrigerator Recycling Rebates
provides a $50 reward and free pick up of old refrigerators and freezers for New Jersey residents. These old units are not only wasting energy, but money as well -up to $150 a year. NJCEP
(in partnership with JACO Environmental) safely recycles 95% of each unit. These units aren't going into landfills or back on the secondary market, but are being turned into items we use everyday, such as cell phones and laptops. To schedule a free pick up call 1-877-270-3520. For more Rebates and Promotions click here.
The Story of Electronics
Video released Tuesday, November 9, it explores the high-tech revolution's collateral damage—25 million tons of e-waste and counting, poisoned workers and a public left holding the bill.
Green Friendly Site
Computer and Electronics Recycling DayWhen:
Saturday, May 18, 9am – 3pmWhere:
Essex County Fleet Maintenance Garage, 99 West Bradford Ave. Cedar Grove, NJ (map
Please visit ECUA Web site
for full information and a list
of accepted items.
Calendar: please click HERE for the current garbage and recycling collection days. The Township's Recycling Center is located at 10 Commerce Court in Verona (map) and it is open 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Visit our Recycling page for details or refer to the booklet for North Side and South Side - You can access a live feed from Nixle here
Peckman River Clean Up To celebrate 2013 Earth Day the Verona Environmental Commission organized a cleanup at two locations in town on April 14th. VEC member Kerry Bass was the clean up coordinator. The morning group met at 9:00 AM in F. N. Brown School by the woods entrance behind the playground. The afternoon group met at 1:00 PM in Brookdale Ave. School behind the field. Volunteers helped keep our Peckman River clean by removing trash and debris from the surrounded areas. The township provided gloves, garbage bags, recycling containers and removed the collected materials. Several members of the Junior Woman's Club of Verona participated as well as Verona High School Juniors like Sam Bass pictured right in the woods behind F. N. Brown School. Thank you everybody for all your hard work! MORE INFORMATION HERE
VEC Petition: Verona residents Rose Saltalamacchia and Gabby Discafani presented the petition Verona-NJ Safe Playing Fields at the December 17th Council Meeting. Over 200 Verona residents already signed the petition, in person and on-line. In the document the Verona Environmental Commission asks Verona Town Council and Board of Education to stop using toxic synthetic lawn pesticides on all school grounds and public sport fields where children play. Councilmen Sniatkowski and Nochimson called for a two to three year commitment of pesticide free, organic field maintenance. Councilman Ryan mentioned the need to include the BOE in this commitment. All councilmen agreed and the VEC congratulates them all for it! The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published a report about Pesticide Exposure in Children. Pesticides can cause cancer, learning disabilities, asthma, birth defects and reproductive problems, and should not be applied just for the sake of cosmetic appearances. Pictured, gorgeous Bergen Community College sport field maintained without pesticides. Learn more HERE.
2012 VEC Contest Winners
The VEC "Idle Free Verona" poster contest award ceremony took place on November 19th at the Town Hall Council Chambers. This year the winners received a certificate signed by Verona Mayor and a $50 dollars award. Pictured left is H. B. Whitehorne Middle School poster winner. Pictured below from left to right, bottom row: Bobby Donohue from Forest Avenue School, Mrs. Radigan, who received the award on behalf of Emily Wyne from F. N. Brown School, Thomas Radigan from Laning Avenue School, Diane Valverde from Brookdale Avenue School, and Julianna Spina from H. B. Whitehorne Middle School. Top row: Mayor Frank Sapienza, Council Member Kevin Ryan, Verona Environmental Commission Chairman Jerry Shimonaski, Council Member Michael Nochimson, Council Member Jay Sniatkowski and Deputy Mayor Bob Manley. Congratulations to all participants for helping reduce air pollution! To see all winning posters and school displays please click HERE.
Go Idle Free Verona is the new 2 minute video from the VEC and it is part of the commission's campaign against unnecessary vehicle idling. The video was entirely shot and edited by VEC members in Verona. The commission would like to especially thank the HBW Environmental Club and the kids from Verona for their participation and support. We invite you to watch it and learn how you can help to enhance Verona's air quality (click on the lower right corner icon for full screen). An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour! NJ State Law prohibits idling more than three minutes for both diesel and gasoline non-emergency vehicles. Please Turn the Key -Be Idle Free!
The VEC recently toured Verona Wastewater Treatment Facility and produced this 8-minute video presentation. We invite you to watch it and learn how you can help to protect our waterways (click on the lower right corner icon for full screen).
Help Verona save money and go green. Click "play" below to watch our new video Verona Recycling. Please reduce, reuse and recycle as much as you can in Verona.
Let’s encourage kids to walk to school and support them by improving air quality and safe driving. Please watch our video presentation Idle Free Verona and spread the word!
The VEC put together a presentation about Verona's Recycling Programs for all elementary schools in town. The content and pictures were generated locally by VEC members targeting third and fourth grade students, as requested by Frank Albano, Laning Avenue School Principal. After receiving the approval of Charles Sampson, former Superintendent of Verona Public Schools, the VEC presented this program at the following schools: Forest Ave., Laning Ave. (pictured here), F.N.Brown, Brookdale Ave. and Our Lady of the Lake. The Verona Recycling Center located at 10 Commerce Ct. is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. And reduce, reuse and recycle as much as you can. Recycling questions, call 973-857-4804. For more information contact us. READ MORE
2012 Earth Day in Verona
The VEC celebrated Earth Day on April 14th at the Verona Recycling Center. Residents brought their recyclable items and chatted about local environmental matters. Fabric canvas bags with the Verona logo were distributed free of charge as well as Township recycling bins and barrels. Pictured below is Verona resident Jane Niven receiving a recycling barrel from VEC member Tony Saltalamacchia . To see more pictures of this event please click HERE.
Reusable Shopping Bags
Neither paper nor plastic disposable bags are the best choice. Choosing reusable canvas bags and using them over and over is the way to go! Pictured from left Recycling Center Supervisor Michael Inglesino, VEC Chairman Shimonaski and VEC Member Saltalamacchia distributing canvas bags during Verona's Eart Day celebration. Read the article here.
2012 Treasured Trees
Do you have one of Verona's great trees in your yard? The VEC is accepting nominations for Verona's 2012 Treasured Trees. This program recognizes beautiful, mature trees and the
homeowners who care for them. If you would like to nominate a tree please e-mail us
Homeowners whose trees are designated as Treasured Trees receive a
tree plaque from the Commission.
Pictured here is our first 2011 Treasured Tree, a majestic Red Oak located at 21 Anne Street in Verona. New Jersey designated the red oak as the official state tree in 1950. Also a magnificent Bur Oak (
a fire-resistant tree) received Treasured Tree status this year. And the third 2011 Treasured Tree is a wonderful American Sweetgum located at 26 Montrose Ave. You can take our "Virtual Tree Tour" to see them all HERE!
Recycling in Verona Park
Verona Park is now greener, thanks to Essex County officials having installed several recycling bins there. Now you can recycle paper, glass and plastic in the park. The Verona Park Conservancy organizes annual cleanups usually on April and the annual Hilltop Cleanup Day is organized by the Hilltop Conservancy.
trees planted in the curb strips along most streets are Township Trees.
Also, in a few specific locations just inside the sidewalks, right of
way, and in public recreation areas. Verona has been a Tree City for 26 consecutive years.Request
for Township planting, pruning and removal should be made by calling
Public Works at 973-857-4804. To learn more about The Verona Shade Tree
Commission, our Township Trees and how to help them please READ HERE. Residents are encouraged to contact
the police at 911 to report any emergency and (973) 239-5000
regarding any police related matter. Trees or power lines that have come down should be reported.
Idle-Free Verona Exhibits
The Essex County Environmental Center
at 621 Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland every year exhibits all "Idle Free
Verona" poster contest entries. Maria Robinson (Office Administrator)
and Tara Casella (Director) are pictured here by the VEC's